The Pakistan-China diplomatic relations were established 70 years ago and with the passage of time, the friendship between the two countries has flourished in the hearts of the peoples of both countries. Friday marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral relations and Pakistani officials, experts and the general public believe that the deep-rooted friendship is growing day by day and every coming generation cherishes the friendship even more than the previous one.
The friendship is based on people-to-people bonds, common faith and dreams, common pursuit of common development. As a Pakistani saying goes, the Chinese and Pakistani peoples are like the “cousins.” As a Chinese saying goes, “the party of the Chinese and the Pakistani peoples have a long history of interactions and we have been inseparable since ancient times.” The friendship between the two countries, despite witnessing ups and downs over the past 70 years, has witnessed a big leap forward since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2017, when the Chinese leadership expressed a new direction to accelerate China’s development and further improve the country’s relations with other countries, especially in the region.
In my opinion, this deep-rooted friendship is not merely a trend or tradition. It is not a fairy tale and it is not mere imagination. It is not a fashion but a fact that both countries share the desire and passion to collaborate with each other for common prosperity. During my recent visit to China, I was informed that China and Pakistan are time tested friends and the recent year has recorded a real remarkable growth in bilateral relations. Recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed this feeling in a video message to the opening ceremony of the 2nd China International Import Expo. This expo, attended by over 3,500 companies from 130 countries and regions, is the result of long-term vision of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people.
By hosting the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping and President Mamnoon Hussain have demonstrated that China-Pakistan friendship is moving on a higher trajectory. The friendship between the two peoples is emerging as an unshakable pillar of stability in South Asia. We, the peoples of Pakistan and China, should all, in our turn, strengthen our determination to strengthen the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership for win-win progress and make greater efforts to promote the sound development of the region and the prosperity of the people. I call on the whole Pakistani nation to recognize and embrace the growing friendship and build a prosperous Pakistan through hard work, cooperation and exchanges of ideas with Chinese people.
According to the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, relations between China and Pakistan have brought about better development to the people of both countries and helped improve the living standards of the people in both nations. Pakistan-China friendship is not just an economic partnership but a comprehensive partnership made up of political, economic, cultural, social and people-to-people exchanges. China has always extended unconditional assistance to Pakistan and since 2015, the Chinese government has provided Pakistan with USD 2 billion, on annual basis, in the form of grant assistance, soft loans, concessional loans and interest-free loans. Pakistan and China share a long history of cooperation, underpinned by strong friendship and deep understanding between the two countries.
Since 1950, Pakistan has raised many concerns with respect to China’s support for Pakistan’s enemy India, and Pakistani security services have made many assumptions regarding China’s objectives in the region. The economic cooperation between China and Pakistan remains indispensable for the two countries and can promote the cause of regional development. However, the CPEC project is fundamentally a flagship project and a top priority project of the Belt and Road Initiative, so its security is one of the most sensitive issues on the whole Belt and Road Initiative, which is the reason why Pakistanis are now worried.
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